NBC and FOX finally launch Hulu, sort of

Posted by Mark Raby

Los Angeles (CA) - Hulu.com, a Youtube clone created jointly by NBC and Fox, has launched with a preview version today, allowing users to view legitimately posted clips of their TV shows.

The site, which is supported by advertisements, lets users have access to full episodes of select shows from the two networks, as well as full-length films from the site's flagship partners Sony and MGM.

Ahead of the site's preview launch, NBC has pulled all of its content that if officially posted on Youtube.  It was the most prolific TV network contributor to the Google-owned site before it decided to focus exclusively on Hulu.

Shows available immediately will be Fox's hit The Simpsons and NBC comedy 30 Rock, as well as a collection of older shows including Lost in Space.  NBC also already offers full episodes of Late Night with Conan O'Brien at NBC.com.

Forrester Research TV analyst James Quivey told the Associated Press that the technology behind Hulu is actually ahead of most Flash video sites.  "I think they have moved a couple of steps forward compared to their competitors in the industry," he said.

The final version of Hulu is expected to launch by the beginning of 2008.